We are not condemned to exclusion and inequality, Pope tells popular movements (Vatican Press Office) The Pope’s address to the 4th World Meeting of Popular Movements is significant for several reasons:
his impassioned pleas, issued “in the name of God”—including pleas to pharmaceutical companies to release Covid vaccine patents, to financial groups to cancel debts to poor nations, and to extractive industries to stop polluting his statement that the principles he mentions are rooted in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2001) his criticism of “indifference, meritocracy and individualism” on the one hand, and “any authoritarian mindset, any forced collectivism or any state-centric mindset” on the other: “the common good cannot be used as an excuse to quash private initiative, local identity or community projects” his reference to “the protests over the death of George Floyd”: “it is clear that this type of reaction against social, racial or macho injustice can be manipulated or exploited by political machinations or whatever, but the main thing is that, in that protest against this death, there was the Collective Samaritan who is no fool! This movement did not pass by on the other side of the road when it saw the injury to human dignity caused by an abuse of power” his call for serious consideration of “a basic income (the UBI) or salary so that everyone in the world may have access to the most basic necessities of life. It is right to fight for a humane distribution of these resources, and it is up to governments to establish tax and redistribution schemes so that the wealth of one part of society is shared fairly, but without imposing an unbearable burden, especially upon the middle class” his call for serious consideration of a shorter workday: “working fewer hours so that more people can have access to the labor market is something we need to explore with some urgency”
17 Christian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti (Washington Examiner) A group of 17 Christian missionaries from the US and Canada were seized by an armed gang in Haiti on October 16, as they were traveling home from work at an orphanage. The kidnapping victims were representatives of Christian Aid Ministries; they were reportedly taken captive by members of a gang that has targeted religious groups.
Patients come first, Pope reminds biomedical researchers (Vatican Press Office) “The patient comes before the illness,” Pope Francis reminded members of the Biomedical University Foundation during an October 18 audience. The Pontiff thanked the group for “promoting the human development of research,” with a focus on care for the person, as a time when others “pursue the profitable paths of profit.”
Los Angeles removes St. Junípero Serra's name from park (Fox News) Father Serra Park is temporarily being renamed La Plaza Park until a new name is decided on. Mayor Eric Garcetti said that an “indigenous cultural easement” would be created “to give local indigenous communities priority access to the park for practice of traditional ceremonies.”
127 martyrs beatified in Córdoba (YouTube (Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba)) Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was the principal celebrant of the Mass of beatification on October 16.“The priest, Juan Elías Medina, and 126 companion martyrs – priests, religious, seminarians and lay people – were killed in hatred of the faith during the violent religious persecution of the 1930s in Spain,” Pope Francis said the following day. “May their fidelity grant us all strength, especially persecuted Christians in various parts of the world, the strength to witness to the Gospel courageously.”
Sicilian archdiocese imposes moratorium on godparents (New York Times) The Archdiocese of Moratorium has imposed a three-year moratorium because “the once-sacred role has become secularized and merely a way for parents to network and secure connections with local power brokers, including the mafia,” according to a summary of the report.The Code of Canon Law addresses baptismal sponsors in Canons 872-874.
Pope tells new bishops to serve, not rule (Vatican News) As he ordained two new bishops on October 17, Pope Francis reflected that “episcopacy is the name of a service, not of an honor, since the bishop must strive to serve rather than to role.”
The Pontiff charged the two newly consecrated bishops—Bishop Guido Marini of Tortona and Bishop Andres Gabriel Ferrada Moreira, secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy—to “be the custodians of faith, of service, of charity in the Church.”
Rumors had circulated around Rome that Pope Francis might announce a consistory for the creation of new cardinals on the same day. The rumors proved inaccurate.
Myanmar's military strikes 2 churches (AsiaNews) According to the report, Myanmar’s military destroyed a Baptist church in Chin State (map) and shelled a Catholic church in Kayah State (map).Buddhism is the official religion of the Southeast Asian nation of 56.6 million (map); the nation is 77% Buddhist, 8% ethnic religionist, 8% Christian, and 4% Muslim.
Private papal visit to Assisi announced (Vatican News) The Pontiff’s fifth visit to Assisi will take place next month. During the private visit, Pope Francis “will share moments of listening and prayer with about 500 people from all over Europe in preparation for the World Day of the Poor on 14 November,” Vatican News reported. (The Pope established the World Day of the Poor in 2016.)
Nebraska priest charged with siphoning funds from colleague with dementia (KETV) The former chancellor of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska, faces felony charges for alleged theft and abuse of a vulnerable adult. Father Michael Gutgsell allegedly took over $150,000 from the savings of another priest who suffered from dementia. The accused priest says that he had exhausted his own savings by giving funds to a homeless man, who had promised to repay him.
Study predicts 30% of US churches will close (Washington Times) A new study by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research predicts that within the next two decades, about 30% of the religious congregations in the US will disappear, as smaller churches close. The study, based on a survey of over 15,000 congregations, includes local communities of all religious groups: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths.
Cardinal Gregory pours praise on America's embattled press (Get Religion) “You are the professionals with just the right words, who immerse yourselves in a community, a situation or even a crisis – to bring us the facts, the people and the takeaways that can help us work toward living in true peace and equality for all, without the threat of violence or harm,” Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington said recently at the National Press Club. “It is you, the modern-day American journalist who amplifies community voices speaking out against injustice and inequality who are asking for needed change in our systems and long-held prejudices. It is the powerful impact of your multimedia images and carefully written words that help us connect with the world’s citizens fighting for the exact same hopes and dignities.”
English bishops call for 9 days of prayer to defeat attempt to legalize assisted suicide (CBCEW) “The novena, asking the intercession of Pope Saint John Paul II, who spoke courageously about the infinite worth of each human person and witnessed to the cross in his final illness, calls upon Catholics and all who share our view that assisted suicide is wrong, to pray with perseverance that this Bill will be defeated,” said Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the English and Welsh bishops.
100 incidents of vandalism reported at Catholic sites in US since May 2020 (USCCB) “These incidents of vandalism have ranged from the tragic to the obscene, from the transparent to the inexplicable,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Paul Coakley , chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “We call on our elected officials to step forward and condemn these attacks. We thank our law enforcement for investigating these incidents and taking appropriate steps to prevent further harm.”“In all cases, we must reach out to the perpetrators with prayer and forgiveness,” they added. “True, where the motive was retribution for some past fault of ours, we must reconcile; where misunderstanding of our teachings has caused anger toward us, we must offer clarity; but this destruction must stop.”